Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Cary is rolling out their summer 2013 menu on July 3. Lucky for me, Executive Chef Jay Pierce allowed me to get the first preview during his summer menu roll out. Foodies rejoice! All of your summer favorites are back. Heirloom tomatoes, roasted peaches and banana pudding; I can hardly stand it!

Chef Jay Pierce is known in the N.C. culinary scene for using farm fresh ingredients at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen. One of his favorite parts about the summer is tomatoes. Lucky 32 will feature an heirloom tomato platter with five slices of juicy, ripe tomatoes from Screech Owl Farms, Rudd Farms and other local farmers. These local tomatoes are sprinkled with sea salt, cracked black pepper and chopped green onions, then drizzled with a fresh herb vinaigrette.

IMG_5005On those cooler, rainy summer days you have to try Lucky 32's golden tomato soup. Roasted yellow tomatoes are transformed into a delicious, creamy soup and served with a sharp cheddar cheese crostini. I highly suggest dunking the crostini in the soup.

IMG_5013Whenever I think of summer, peaches always come to mind. Lucky 32 has a delicious roasted peaches appetizer. Three peach halves are stuffed with Goat Lady Dairy chèvre and wrapped in thin slices of Benton's dry cured country ham. The sorghum glaze adds a sweet, cinnamon flavor to the salty element of the dish.

IMG_5009The okra popcorn from Lucky 32 is quite addicting. It's impossible to only have a few pieces. Fresh, sliced okra from local farmers is covered in buttermilk and dredged in a mixture of yellow corn flour, corn meal, salt and pepper. The slices are deep fried and served with Lucky 32's creamy buttermilk dressing and voodoo glaze. In my opinion, summer is best appreciated with a side of fried okra.

IMG_5007Many restaurants will begin featuring chilled soups during the warm N.C. summer months. Lucky 32's cold seasonal soup is a chilled cucumber-avocado soup. On my list of foods I couldn't live without, avocado ranks quite high. This soup was perfect; a pureed blend of ingredients like cucumbers, avocado, garlic, red onion and cilantro.

IMG_5011If you follow my Foodie blog, you know how much I love spicy food. The Texas Pete fried shrimp dish is incredible. White wild Carolina shrimp are coated in Texas Pete, seasoned with creole spices and fried. The shrimp are served with voodoo cocktail sauce.

IMG_5021My favorite summer memory involves Grandma's banana pudding. Family reunions and summer picnics wouldn't be the same. Lucky 32's banana pudding is a John Egerton, author of Southern Food, family recipe. The creamy banana pudding is topped with meringue and browned in the oven.

IMG_5033Another popular dessert that tastes like summer is Lucky 32's peaches and cream. Buttermilk custard and fresh peach slices are served with a drizzle of sorghum and mint.

IMG_5031The summer 2013 menu will run until Aug. 20 at Lucky 32. Head over to Cary for your summer favorites inspired by local, farm fresh ingredients.

Written by local Foodie, Kristen. Follow her foodie adventures on Twitter!